Today, we're going to talk about something near to my heart- the idea that you can't really become an organized person without first learning to think like an organized person. When you want to tackle your chaos and get it organized, there are a few mindsets you'll want to change before you ever begin sorting your items, or all the cleaning in the world will only lead you back to the place where you were.
In this day and age, we can allow ourselves to think we need stuff. Lots of stuff. We treasure our stuff, we store stuff we can't possibly ever use, we pack garages full of even more stuff so that our cars can't even fit in there anymore, we keep stuff we think we might need someday in huge rubbermaid bins, we take pride in our stuff (and others seeing our stuff) and we can't imagine parting with most of our stuff. We know people matter more than stuff and in a fire, we'd grab the people but oh how we would mourn that stuff.
So. We must remember first and foremost the Moth and Rust mentality. In the bible, there is a verse that reminds us we can't take any of it with us and in fact we aren't supposed to hoard items and make such a big deal of having all this STUFF.
19-21 “Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being. Matthew 6:19-21 (MSG)
This goes hand in hand with the Bless Others mentality which is my very personal favorite way to look at organizing. Firstly, it is a lot easier to organize anything when there is less of it. So obviously, get rid of anything you don't love, need, or use regularly. Donating your unwanted or unused items to others who are in need, or can't afford the item new, etc, can be such a blessing!
So moral of that story is this... Less is more. Get rid of the excess and keep only what you need, use and love... then begin organizing, using the process we implemented last week- A keep bag, a donate bag, and a trash bag... and finally, neatly store the keep items with logical thinking and containing.
Think of it this way- If you haven't actually pulled it out to use in one full calendar season.. let it find a new home. This applies to holiday decor as well because chances are, you purchase a few new items each season since the stores burst with cuteness. (Target, I'm talkin' to you!)
On a personal note, I keep an informal rotation going using the calendar year system I just mentioned, but I also only have so much space in my home, so if I do get something new, I typically shed something in return. It keeps me from stockpiling stuff, and I tend to have only what I actually use and love at any given time. I also regularly peruse-purge. That is, if I know I am going to the consignment or goodwill, I find myself opening cupboards or bins to see if there is anything I no longer use or need and if so, I add it to my bag and get it gone to bless another.
We are also called to take care of what we've been given in this life and I look at organizing as a way we can do that. It helps us keep things in good repair and keeps us from being wasteful. Organizing also helps us on the front end, because we're less likely to purchase something we already have in the first place, if we know where it is and know that we use it.
Thinking like an organized person requires consistent maintenance. (This shouldn't be exhausting- it's not the same as having to go for a run because you ate some cake.) (grin) What I mean, is you will want to adopt the habit of handling objects as little as possible... when it's in your hand take a moment to think where it belongs and put it directly there without setting it down here or there first, and then forgetting about it later. Put it right where you know it belongs the first time and it will be there. I am still training my kids to do this but I can see it becoming easier.
I hope that all of the things we touched on will help you in thinking like an organized person. And you may not realize this... but this is a grace week! You can continue working in all your drawers that we began last week, and next week we're talking about school organization so if you don't have kiddos in school, you can use that momentum to continue elsewhere! I love a good grace week, don't you? Happy Organizing!